21 Jan 2013

New tropical depression nears Samoa

6:39 am on 21 January 2013

Fiji metservice says a tropical disturbance near Samoa is gradually intensifying and is expected to turn into a cyclone later this morning.

The Samoa Metservice has issued gale and flood and landslide warnings due to moderate to heavy rain at times.

A senior forecaster at the Fiji met service, Amit Singh, says early this morning the system was located about 3500 kilometres north east of Wallis and it is moving east at about 12 knots.

"It's gradually intensifying, and we expect it to become a cyclone by tonight, when it will be located north of Samoa."

He says the system is expected to remain a category three cyclone before heading to the Southern Cook Islands.